Hello guys, Been a while I posted here (a long while actually). Anyway, Ive been looking into getting some Hi-Fi stuff for like over a year now. Ive been considering a lot, both just purely dedicated components but as well a HTPC. Now I came to the conclusion that a HTPC might be a better choice simply because you can upgrade outdated technology. I do understand that a HTPC is not as dedicated and thus not built with the high quality of normal components. But Im not really looking into audiophile and pure cimena stuff too much. I could, but I tend to go nuts over things quite fast and waste easily multiple 1000's of Euro's on stuff I dont even understand, and that's not what Im looking to do. What I basicly want with this HTPC is to enjoy good music quality and movies, watch TV and eventually record TV programs/movies. Ive no need to burn things onto another medium though. No need to game on it either. It needs to be fast and responsive, when all setup I do not want to use anything like a mouse/keyboard. Only a remote controller, just as any Hi-Fi set (this is possible right?). When it's idle it needs to consume almost no power, but with a few MSR editors and CnQ this shouldnt be too hard. Ill list my plans first, or considerations. CPU: AMD Athlon X2 6500 95W TDP, I think there's a possiblity to under volt this CPU and yet eventually to OC it. It's basicly a dualcore Phenom @ 2.3Ghz, and quite a few Phenom 9850BE's could run near 1Vcore on stock speeds. Motherboard: DFI Lanparty JR 790GX-M2RS m-ATX, HDMI output onboard, 128MB DDR3 sideport memory and we all know DFI is most of the times a good brand for tweaking your hardware to the max, be it lower power or extreme speeds. RAM: Buffalo Firestix 2x2GB DDR800, CL4-4-4 4GB should be more than enough, low latency as well. Might eventually look around for a better kit with Micron's to hopefull reach DDR800 CL3-3-3. HDD 1: 8GB SLC SSD As said, it needs to be responsive. This is for OS/programs only. I think with a SSD you scrape off a lot of load times and it boots up fast as well. No clue on a brand yet. SLC technology to have a better lifetime regarding rewrites. HDD 2: 1TB SATA For recording, big enough I'd say, and 1TB is not all that expensive anymore. Didnt look into which brand yet. Shouldnt make too much noise, but needs to be a bit responsive of course. DVD/BR player: Plextor PX-B300SA Looks like normal Bluray player, can play HD-DVD as well if needed. TVcard: TechniSat CableStar HD2 You can plug in a digital cable card into it as well. Besides that, I guess most TV cards will do in the first place? Those were the main parts which Im pretty sure about. I dont know if anyone has a few better suggestions though, if so I'd like to hear them. Now Im landing at a few harder points, namely casing, sound and a few extra things. I know there's loads of nice HTPC cases out there. However, what I like so much about components is that they're, if you pick them right, in the same style etc. Now if I only had one case for the HTPC there's no problem. But, I dont know much about sound, but I do understand that speakers which you can plug into a PC are not delivering enough power to fill a room most of the times. I read mixed stories about Logitech's Z5500 and Creative's Gigaworks S750. They seem quite solid, however I read both have a few drawbacks, be it bass, mid range or high sounds. Also Z5500 had a plopping issue but I think Logitech solved this ages ago already, if not I can always RMA it. If either of that set seems to be good enough, there's no issue regarding a case. In the end there are still a lot of Hi-Fi sets out there with sattelites just as small or even smaller than above mentioned sets which make me wonder how they could fill a room with sound as well. However, the amps might be better, but there's where I start lacking knowledge already. Now if those sets are not recommendable, I might look into some bookshelf speakers. And for that I need an amp, but I'd really like it if it would look nice in combination with the HTPC case. Now I found this from m-Cubed: HFX Mini HTPC case HFX Mini 5.1 1300W Amplifier As you can see they're both in the same style and actually I really like it. But well, you can also see the price of that amp, and 1300W... it seems quite a lot. Also it's a 4Ohm amp, as said I dont understand too much about amps but most speakers are 8Ohm... So it's a bit unclear for me whether that amp is really all that usefull. Also I still live in my parents house. My room is not big enough to store 4 bookshelf speakers, a centre speaker and a sub of sizes for such amplifiers. Besides that, this amplifier has a built in external X-Fi card and connects to the PC with a USB. I dont know if a USB connection will result in quality loss? In the end the sound is amplified directly in the amplifier from the soundcard, but well. The data that has to be 'calculated' moves from the PC via a USB connection which seems a bit weird for a product aimed at high quality. I could be entirely wrong though. If that m-Cubed set is actually very good Ill have to change the Bluray player into a slimdrive. Also Ive no clue what speakers would go with that either, it's not easy to find 4Ohm speakers actually. If the m-Cubed isnt the way to go Im thinking to get Asus' new Xonar HDAV1.3 card. It seems to be quite solid and aimed for HD. Whether it's gimmick, I dont know. So if anyone would know a bit more if it's a good thing or not, advice is welcome. RC: Well, if m-Cubed is the way to go and if Im spending money then anyway, Im looking into VEXO HFX Edition RC. It's expensive too, but you got to admit it's damn nice thingy there. Since you can only order it with a HFX case, otherwise maybe a Logitech Harmony some sort of control. They seem good (my dad has one). Sorry for the very long post, but basicly contains most of the stuff I want to know and/or need opinions about. Software wise I think Ill go with MediaPortal, seems quite nice to me. If I actually overlooked things, please remind me as well. Thx in advance!